Aureole etc.




Nimbus on-line




If it’s the Czech works you’re after, do not hesitate

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Some items
to consider

 


Enjoy the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra wherever you are. App available for iOS and Android


Mahler symphony 6 Nott


Vaughan Williams Symphony 3 etc.


Lyrita New Recording


Lyrita Premiere Recordings

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage


Decca Phase 4 - 40CDs


Judith Bailey, George Lloyd


BAX Orchestral pieces


CASKEN Violin Concerto

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 

 

 

 

REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Support us financially by purchasing this from
Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897)
Violin Concerto in D, Op. 77 [39:40]
Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98 [38:32]
Daniel Grimal (violin)
Les Dissonances
rec. live, 27 October 2012 (concerto); 12 February 2013 (symphony), l’Opéra de Dijon, Dijon
Review FLACs downloaded from eClassical
DISSONANCES RECORDS LD004 [78:12]

From what the booklet tells my not-great French reading skills, Les Dissonances is a chamber orchestra that performs all across France and is starting its own record label. From what my ears tell me, they might actually be a glorified chamber music group. Timpani enthusiasts will rejoice, because the string section sounds a lot like an octet. There are actually 33 string players, but they sound fewer; it might be because the especially small group of cellos and basses means a top-heavy timbre. Rarely has a Brahms Violin Concerto given such prominence to the percussion player.
 
Then again, this is a unique Violin Concerto reading in many ways. For one, the live concert was miked so that the violinist isn’t blown out of proportion. David Grimal is placed front and centre but balanced with the orchestra naturally. It sounds like you’re in a real concert hall. Grimal is a pretty good soloist, who produces a slender but attractive tone and has no problems with the part. As you’d expect from a chamber orchestra with forwardly-placed woodwinds, the concerto’s slow movement is a true highlight. In the finale Grimal misses the last extra spark of inspiration or fire: whatever you choose to call that thing that elevates the truly great performances - like Anne-Sophie Mutter’s.
 
The Fourth Symphony is at a disadvantage, though. The undersized string sections just can’t expect to match or better glorious playing from the Vienna Philharmonic (Kleiber or Kertesz), SWR or NDR Orchestras (Gielen and Wand), or Pittsburgh Symphony (Janowski). Unlike in the Violin Concerto, some climaxes (notably in the slow movement) don’t sound powerful enough, with the timpanist holding back and the live recording growing congested. The flute solo highlights an otherwise underwhelming finale.
 
There are some things Les Dissonances might consider doing differently next time. For one thing, the names of the works are printed on the cover in what must be size 1 font. Go look at the cover photo. Can you even see them? For another, the booklet could at least mention the music performed. Grimal uses an unusual and interesting cadenza in the concerto, and I don’t recognize it, but there’s no info. Additionally, the ensemble purports to have no conductor, but then why does Grimal get billing not just as the soloist but the orchestral leader, the guy whose face is on the cover, and the guy whose name takes up the title for their website’s homepage (“Les Dissonances – David Grimal”)?
 
Most importantly, Les Dissonances can live up to their promise by choosing more suitable repertoire. Maybe they can do a series pairing the symphonies of Robert Schumann with those of Frenchwoman Louise Farrenc, whose admirers included Berlioz. That would be excellent. I’ll make a wish.
 
Brian Reinhart

Masterwork Index: Brahms violin concerto ~~ Symphony 4  



Experience Classicsonline